Posted on 16 March, 2017 at 6:15

We get many enquiries from family members who want to arrange a funeral cover for their parents (or parent). This is especially so with Maori or Pacific Island families where the cost of a funeral can be significant. We welcome all such enquiries as we are experienced in helping in these cases and understand the difficulties that can arise with arranging such cover.

We find there are two main situations that arise. First, cover is required and the parents are ready, willing and able to sign an application with or without family help. This is the easy part. Secondly, and more difficult, are the situations where the parents are unable to apply and sign due to health issues (say related to old age, dementia or other illnesses) or where they are simply uninterested and do not want to have any to do with a funeral insurance.

Most funeral plan insurers require the insured person (ie the parents) to sign the application form. Where they can, then many options exist and we can provide quotes from a range of insurers for you. You can always assist the parents with form completion but they do need to sign declaring everything is in order. A family member can also be shown as the beneficiary and be the one to make the premiums payments if they wish. We can guide you through all this.

Where the parents are unable to sign you can arrange cover but you do need full Power of Attorney with copies to the insurers etc. This can make the application process a little cumbersome. In some instances health or other issues prevents a parent applying yet there is no formal Power of Attorney.

In the situations where a parent cannot or will not sign there is an insurer option we can source, but the parent does need to be aged 50 to 79 to qualify.In this situaiton another family member can be shown as the ‘policy owner’ and the parent can just be shown as the person to be insured but they do not have to sign (or in fact even be aware of the insurance). The other family member (close relative only) can then sign as policy owner. We find this option extremely handy for these sorts of situations.

Let us know if we can ever help if you fall in to one of these categories and require some guidance or specific advice.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ